I have a sweet maltipoo named Chloe. She is white with apricot spots and has soft floppy ears. She is certainly a cuddle bug, but being very young and larger than our other dogs, she often tries to play a little to rough with them. As a result, we lovingly tell her every Wednesday that she should wear pink because "mean girls wear pink on Wednesdays." (Check out Mean Girls starring Lindsay Lohan if you missed that reference.) And, of course, if she should naturally wear pink on Wednesdays, why not take the next step and dye the tips of her ears pink too?
Is it Safe to Dye Your Dog's Hair?
"Medically speaking it is safe to dye your dog's fur - as long as you use safe products." While I myself am not a veterinarian or professional groomer, I do strive to be an educated dog mom consumer. Knowing that I was only choosing to temporarily dye my dog's hair purely for fun aesthetic purposes, I had no desire to experiment with food coloring or any do-it-yourself permanent color creation, and under NO CIRCUMSTANCES was I going to use human hair dye on dogs (warning: this is very dangerous for dogs. Human hair coloring should never be used on dogs). Instead, I looked for widely-used, non-toxic temporary dyes made specifically for animals.
I also took into consideration the personality of my dog before deciding to dye her hair. Chloe is very calm on the grooming table with me. She does not become anxious or aggressive, and seems to very much enjoy the attention. So, I knew that a little extra grooming was not going to stress her out. If I had any belief that it would, I would absolutely not dye her hair.
How I Dyed the Tips of My Dog's Ears Pink with Temporary Pet Fur Coloring
Materials I Used:
- Pair of Latex Gloves
- Hair Dryer
- Small Towel or Bandana (optional: this is to wrap around the dog's neck to keep the dye from transferring from the ears to the dog's shoulders while the dye is wet)
Take me directly to the instructional video!
Step 1: Set up your grooming station in a calming place in your home. Open your pet fur coloring jar (be careful to not get dye on your hands), plug your hair dryer in, and have any other supplies nearby.
Step 2: Put latex gloves on both hands (you can opt not to use gloves, but your hands will turn pink).
Step 3: Take about a quarter size of dye out of the jar with one hand. Then, using your fingers, work the dye into the tips of your dog's hair aiming to evenly cover each strand with the dye. Repeat on the other side, taking care to make sure the sides are even (i.e., that the height of the pink dye is the same).
Step 4: Blow dry the dog's hair on a low heat setting until the dye is dry to the touch. No rinsing required! (Note: The hair dye does harden like a gel in your dog's hair.)
Step 5: Use a comb to brush through the dyed hair to separate strands that are attached to each other to ensure that you have dried all of the hair strands.
That's it! This process only takes me about 20 minutes, and Chloe is off and playing again right afterwards!
Prefer a Video Tutorial?
Check out our how-to in the video below:
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How Long Does Dog Hair Dye Last?
The dog hair dye that I opted to use is temporary and the manufacturer states that it lasts 2-3 washings. For Chloe, the hair dye gradually faded over a two-week period, and washed out in her first bath at the end of the two-week period.
Should You Dye Your Dog's Hair?
Excluding those who live in a state that prohibits dying a dog's hair (Colorado, Florida, Maine and South Carolina), I believe it is up to each pet owner to consider their own dog's personalities when choosing whether to dye their dog's hair. For myself, I simply wanted to try just a bit of hair coloring on the tips of my dog's ears for a short period. During this time she was so cute running around with soft pink floppy ears. Chloe even made laugh so hard one day was when I caught her going up to a mirror over and over checking herself out. I actually filmed it and put the video on Instagram @agirlsyorkie. It's like she knew she had a new hairdo and felt pretty. So, based on my experience and my puppy, I would totally do it again!